About Us

Meghnad Bose

Meghnad  is an award-winning multimedia journalist with over eight years of experience working across digital and television news. He is currently pursuing a Master’s in Data Journalism at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Prior to this, he was Deputy Editor at The Quint, a leading Indian digital publication, where he led innovations in journalistic storytelling, and was head of Special Projects and AI Operations. A primary focus of his reporting endeavors has been to cover the rise of Hindu supremacist politics in India, and how it impacts the country and its people.

Kristen Cashwell

Kristen is a multimedia journalist and M.S. candidate at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. With a strong background in nonprofits and education and a bachelor’s degree in Political Economy from Rhodes College, Kristen is dedicated to amplifying underrepresented voices. Her work focuses on important topics such as religion, public health, LGBTQ+ issues, education, sports, and nonprofit initiatives.

Genevieve Charles

Genevieve is a journalist and graduate student at the Columbia Journalism School. Genevieve covers arts and culture, and religion. Genevieve has a Bachelor’s in Media Production with a concentration in audio from the University of Virginia. Genevieve is currently working on an audio project on an Episcopal church in the Upper West Side. Genevieve has written for The Cavalier Daily at the University of Virginia and produced her own podcast When Reality Hits, on the experience of Christian community at UVA. More recently, she has written for The Bronx Bulletin and produced audio for Uptown Radio.

Renata Daou

Renata is a graduate student currently pursuing a master of science degree in data journalism at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She graduated cum laude from the Pennsylvania State University in May 2023 with dual bachelor’s degrees in International Politics and Broadcast Journalism, as well as minors in Global Security and Middle East Studies.

Ellie Davis

Ellie is a graduate student at Columbia Journalism School. After five years of working in public relations, she decided to gain the journalistic knowledge needed to tell powerful stories. Ellie is interested in how religion shapes people and cultures. She has lived across the Southeast and graduated from College of Charleston with a Bachelor of Arts in political science with a concentration in politics, philosophy, and law and a minor in marketing.

Natalie Demaree

Natalie is a multimedia journalist based in New York. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas in journalism and political science with a specialization in African and African American Studies. Currently, Natalie covers religion, culture and social justice as a graduate student at Columbia Journalism School. 

Dina Katgara

Dina is a journalist pursuing her M.S. at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She reports on business, economy, religion and culture. Before moving to New York, she graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. degree in English. At UC Berkeley, she was the lead business and economic news reporter at the Daily Californian where she showcased small businesses’ resiliency and innovation during the pandemic. She also gained an inside look at tech companies through marketing and content writing internships at Silicon Valley tech companies Zoom Communications and Ark7.

Refael Kubersky

Refeal is an M.S. candidate at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where he is specializing in documentary filmmaking. Over the past year he has been directing and producing “Allies Left Behind,” a documentary focusing on Afghans who are visa processing to the U.S. Refael previously worked at the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction’s research and analysis bureau. He previously earned an M.S. in foreign service from Georgetown University, and has spent extensive time studying and working in the Middle East. 

Katelin Moody

Katie is a dual degree master’s student in journalism and international affairs at Columbia University. She has a background in climate policy and energy transition and holds a bachelor’s degree in geography from Dartmouth College.

Trisha Mukherjee

Trisha is a multimedia journalist covering global human rights. Her work focuses on immigration, abortion, and the environment. After graduating from Columbia with degrees in human rights and creative writing, she freelanced, created her own podcast, and produced several award-winning shows at iHeartMedia. She’s currently pursuing her master’s at Columbia Journalism School.

Daniel O’Connor

Daniel is a freelance journalist and part-time graduate student at Columbia Journalism School covering politics, economy and religion. After graduating with honors from Seton Hall University, he moved to New York to begin working as a consumer reporter for The U.S. Sun while earning a Master’s degree. He has bylines with Politico, News Corporation and States Newsroom.

Emma Paidra

Emma is a freelance journalist and graduate student at the Columbia Journalism School. Prior to studying at Columbia, Emma received a degree in English Literature from the University of Toronto. While in undergrad, Emma freelanced for publications like Hey Alma and Shameless Magazine. At Columbia, she co-produced two short documentaries, including one about New York City’s pigeon rescuers. Emma covers mental healthcare, human interest, and of course, religion.

Eleanor H. Reich

Eleanor is an Israeli-American multimedia journalist and an M.S. candidate at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She previously worked at the Associated Press as a foreign correspondent in Jerusalem and has also contributed as a freelance reporter for The Washington Post and Haaretz. Eleanor is dedicated to telling meaningful stories about lives affected by the geopolitical reality in the Middle East.

Ann W. Schmidt

Ann is a fellow at Columbia Journalism School’s Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism, where she covers the nonprofit sector, the criminal justice system and religion. Before coming to Columbia, Ann was an editor and ad sales associate for FoxBusiness.com. Ann previously worked as a lifestyle reporter for Fox News Digital, a features reporter for DailyMail.com and a general assignment reporter for The Belfast Telegraph in Northern Ireland. Ann graduated from New York University with a double major in journalism and political science.

Indy Scholtens

Indy is a journalist and graduate student at the Columbia Journalism School. After graduating with a double bachelor’s degree in Business Analytics and Philosophy from the VU University in Amsterdam, she decided to shift to journalism, mainly focusing on social and criminal justice issues. Currently, she is covering religion, conflict and the aftermath of the death of Amadou Diallo.

Samuel Eli Shepherd

Samuel is a multimedia journalist and writer currently pursuing his master’s at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He graduated from McGill University in May 2022 with a first-class honors degree in history with minors in English literature and Jewish Studies. He is interested in covering political polarization, arts and culture, and education.


Ari L. Goldman

Professor Ari L. Goldman, a former religion correspondent for The New York Times, has been teaching the “Covering Religion” seminar at Columbia Journalism since 1993. This year’s study-tour is the 20th he’s led with Columbia students. In past years, the class has gone to Russia and Ukraine, Ireland and Northern Ireland, India and Italy. Professor Goldman was born in Hartford, Conn., and was educated at Yeshiva University, Columbia and Harvard.  He is the author of four books, including the best-selling The Search for God at Harvard.

Gregory Khalil

Gregory Khalil is the co-founder and President of Telos, a Washington D.C.-based non-profit that equips American leaders and their communities to better engage seemingly intractable conflict. Much of Telos’ work has centered on the role of faith leaders and culture shapers in  America’s relationship to Israel/Palestine and the broader Middle East. Prior to founding Telos, Greg was a legal and communications adviser to Palestinian leaders on peace negotiations with Israel. Greg is also a founding member and chair of the board of directors of Narrative 4, a global non-profit that seeks to use story and media to cultivate empathy across divides. He has lectured internationally and his writing has appeared in The New York Times and The Review of Faith & International Affairs. Greg is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles and Yale Law School. He co-teaches “Covering Religion” with Professor Ari Goldman.

Melanie Huff

Melanie Huff is the Senior Associate Dean of Students at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. This is her fifth time accompanying the Covering Religion class on its annual study tour. She has been to India, Ireland, Jordan, Israel and Palestine with the class.  Dean Huff has degrees from Barnard College and Teachers College, both of Columbia University.

Liz Donovan

Adjunct professor Liz Donovan is an investigative reporter whose work has been featured in The New York Times, the Intercept, THE CITY, Type Investigations and AFP. She most recently worked as an investigative researcher for The New Yorker staff writer Ronan Farrow. She previously reported on climate at NYC outlet City Limits and on immigration and gender for Columbia’s Global Migration Project, and has taught writing and editing at the School of The New York Times. She has master’s degrees from Columbia Journalism School and Sciences Po in Paris, France. Twitter: @LizDonov.